City Desk

The Last of Cool “Disco” Dan?

Cleaning my office last week, I found a letter we'd been sent that literally fell through the cracks, sent by John Lockwood of Cathedral Heights in November:

I enclose a photograph of what I believe is the last "Cool Disco Dan" graffito left in Washington, D.C.. They used to be everywhere, each one with the same elaborate decoration. For several years now, there have been no new ones anywhere, and the old ones have gradually been lost, either by being painted over by other graffiti types, or by clean-up campaigns.

A few days ago, however, as I was on the Red Line to Silver Spring, I glimpsed a Cool Disco Dan on a metal railway box. I couldn't get a long-distance photo, with all the hedges blocking the view. So, I had to settle for a quick shot from the subway train itself.

From a city-wide phenomenon that people would joke about, to a lone outpost, clinging to an obscure box. Such is the brief quality of earthly fame. Sic gloria transit mundi.

Anyone else out there know of any other extant Cool "Disco" Dans out there?

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  • Christina Colosimo

    it's been awhile, maybe 2 years or so, but i saw a "Cool Disco Dan" on the side of an abandoned rail car near the Rhode Island Avenue metro. This car was left on a dirt path between the railroad tracks and the strip mall. It may have also had the phrase "Ghetto Fabolous" or "Urban Fabolous" or something like that. I'll check tonight on my way home.

  • Mark Athitakis

    There's an extended passage about Disco Dan in Dinaw Mengestu's new novel, "The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears." I went hunting around for more info while reading it, and found this: It's a Flickr pool dedicated to Disco Dan spottings. Obviously it's a little undernourished, though.

  • Washington Pete

    Cool Disco Dan was the Dean of Da Hood'!!!! His art, style, and ability to tag the metro lines with his style gave this city a sense of coolness during the crack wars and the long nightmare of "Mayor-For-Life" Barry's adminitration.

    Borf is just a suburbian pussy when compared to Disco Dan!

  • ez123

    thes alot of disco dan on the rockville part of the line

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  • Gunfighter

    Cool "Disco" Dan... memories and smiles from my time spent as a young Marine in DC in the Mid-80's

  • Doc Cook

    Only in my former hometown could some scenery destroying scumbag be idolized. Let's find "DISCO DAN" and hold a retirement benifit for him at the Kennedy center! The man's a folk hero for trashing the area! You folks are to much....but thats why i hitch hiked out 40 yrs ago to escape the place. NO GRAFFITI IS ALLOWED IN A 4 BLOCK AREA OF WHERE I LIVE...they finally gave up when it became apparent that i would rub their trash out within a few days.
    Try visiting Corpus Christi graffitti, no streetcorner homeless begging...quite refreshing really. Get over yourselves district.

  • Roboton

    @Doc: Good for you. Now leave us alone you old fart.